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How We Got Here: Crash Course Sociology #12


Until about 12,000 years ago, the largest group of people
ever assembled, the most humans ever gathered in one
place, was probably a crowd of about 100, tops. And there were somewhere between one and ten
million people on the entire planet back then. Today, we have football stadiums that can
fit a hundred people a thousand times over. The city of Shanghai has a population of over
24 million. And there are almost 7.5 billion people on
Earth! How the heck did we get from there to here? That might sound like a history question,
and it is, partly. But it’s also a sociology question. Because, if we want to understand
how we got from small groups huddled
around a fire to cities of millions, we need to understand what society is and
how societies change as their populations grow. And we need to understand how different kinds
of societies shape the people who live in them. Pretty much any question you can ask about
society, you can answer with the help of sociology. [Theme Music] As long as there have been humans, there have
been societies. We’re social animals, and even when there
were mere handfuls of us, we grouped together,
forming the first societies. Now, society can mean lots of different things:
A few families who spend all their time hunting
deer and picking mushrooms can be a society. But so were the 70 million people of the Roman
Empire. And so are the 1.2 billion people living in
India today. So we need a definition that’s going to include
all of these things. And conveniently enough, we have one: a society
is simply a group of people who share a culture
and a territory. That’s a good definition, but it doesn’t really
tell us much about the different kinds of societies,
or how we get from one kind to another. For that, we turn to the work of American
sociologist Gerhard Lenski. Lenski focused on technology as the main source
of societal change, through a process he called
sociocultural evolution: the changes that occur as a society gains new technology. Lenski then broke up human history into
five different types of societies, defined by the technology they used and
the social organizations that the technology
helped create and sustain. If you look back to early human history, say about
30-40 thousand years ago, you find a lot of what
Lenski called hunting and gathering societies. In these societies, people made use of
extremely basic tools to help them hunt animals
and gather wild plants for food. Now, if you think about how much you eat in a day,
and imagine trying to gather up that much food every
day, it should be pretty clear that this is no easy task. So food was the major concern in these societies,
and they still exist today. People in hunting and gathering societies
spend almost all their time trying to make
sure they have enough food. And they’re nomadic, following migrating
animals and wild harvests, so they don’t
build permanent settlements. So, by their very nature, these societies tend to
be small; hunting and gathering can’t support a group
of more than 25 to 40 people effectively. And in order for hunting and gathering to
support even that, everyone has to work to
find food, and everyone has to share their
resources in order to ensure the survival
of the group. This means that these societies have very
low inequality. For the vast majority of human history, every single
person lived in hunting and gathering societies, up until about 12,000 years ago, when the
domestication of plants and animals led to new kinds
of society: horticultural and pastoral societies. Pastoral societies are based around the
domestication of animals and are also nomadic, moving
from place to place to keep their herds fed. Horticultural societies, on the other hand
are based on cultivating plants. So, with horticultural societies we see the first
human settlements, as groups began to stay put,
to remain close to reliable sources of food. And we also see, for the first time, the
accumulation of material surplus – that is, more
resources than are needed to feed the population. This is incredibly important because, having
a surplus allows a society to grow. And it also means that not everyone needs
to work on getting food and simply surviving. This, in turn, leads to the first real instances
of specialization in society, with separate political,
religious, and military roles coming about. We also get real social inequality for the
first time. And this same dynamic accelerates as we move
into agrarian society, as permanent settlements
emerge based around agricultural production. Starting about 5,000 years ago – with better
farming techniques like the animal-drawn plow – we get more food production and an even
bigger material surplus. From this came larger populations and larger
settlements, with even more specialization
and even more inequality. Remember serfs and nobles? Feudalism was an agrarian society. And you know what else happens when societies
reach this point? The family starts to become less important. In other kinds of societies, things like education
are handled almost entirely by the family. But as societies grow and become more complex,
those functions start to be taken up by larger
social institutions, like the church or schools. And now we finally start approaching present
day America, with industrial societies. These societies get their start with the industrial
revolution around 1750, as production began to shift
from human and animal power to machine power. This had a massive impact on food production,
with new technologies like the tractor and the combine producing huge surpluses that
could support even larger populations with
even more specialization. But the industrial revolution also marked
a fundamental change in the organization of
society itself. Societies far larger than anything seen before
meant a greater need to assert centralized
control over everything – from the production of goods, to transportation,
to agricultural production – in order to keep
things running smoothly. For the first time, human society moved away
from a subsistence-based economy. As mass production became possible, a capital-based
economy emerged. As the surplus grew and specialization increased,
so did inequality, with factory workers spending
12 hour days on one end, and incredibly wealthy “captains of industry”
making enormous profits on the other. It’s no coincidence that, soon after the
industrial revolution, Marxism and conflict
theory emerged. And the decreasing importance of the family
continued as well, as more institutions stepped
into traditional family roles. Industrial societies were the first to have
universal public education, for instance. And, for the first time, the majority of health
care and caregiving were institutionalized,
done outside the home in hospitals. The need to keep production organized also
meant an increasingly urbanized population. Because, it’s easier to control the resources
you need if they’re centralized. So people moved from the countryside to urban
centers, where the industrial jobs were. And all of this keeps going in Lenski’s
scheme of things, with specialization and
technological innovation continuing, until the development of the computer, a technology
that gave rise to the postindustrial society. In postindustrial societies, we still see
specialization, increased urbanization, and
technological advances. But the defining change is that postindustrial
societies shift away from an economy based on
raw materials and manufacturing, to an economy based based on information,
services, and technology. This is how we got here. If you look at the most dynamic sectors of the US economy, you see massive wealth being created in tech, finance, and service industries, but a steady decline in manufacturing. That said, it’s not as though Americans don’t
buy stuff. Apps can do a lot of things, but they can’t
(yet) conjure a car out of the ether for you. So this is a good chance to point out that
these different types of society aren’t isolated
from each other. You can’t have a postindustrial society without
having industrial societies elsewhere to supply
it with goods. This points again to increasing inequality –
not just within one society, but across societies. So, in Lenski’s understanding, societal change
is driven by technological change. But, it’s worth pointing out that not all
of these changes are beneficial. Pollution, global warming, and large-scale
warfare are new problems that technology has
brought us. And, technology doesn’t solve fundamental
societal problems. It has the potential to reorganize society,
but technology can’t tell us how to have
peaceful or just societies. In fact, just looking at Lenski’s classifications,
you can see that advancing technology also advances
inequality in society, making it increasingly unequal. So, we can’t limit our discussion of society
to just looking at technology. But that’s okay, because the sociocultural changes that
Lenski talks about can also be understood using the
work of some old friends: Marx, Weber, and Durkheim. Marx, for example, might seem pretty
similar to Lenski at first: If you think back to his theory of historical materialism,
he certainly seems to put a strong focus on technology
and the economy as the driving forces of history. Remember? He saw that changes in the forces of
production are important in pushing the change from
one mode of production to another. But for Marx, you only get large-scale social
change through class struggle, which culminates
in a revolution, overthrowing the old relations of production
and replacing them with an entirely new set. So in Marx’s view, the transition between
Lenski’s stages requires technological change,
but it also requires revolution. And we can also use Marx’s understanding
of conflict to compare Lenski’s stages with
each other. In hunting and gathering societies, for example,
conflict and inequality are leveled by the lack of
surplus and the need to share resources. But that’s not the case in postindustrial
society. Max Weber, for his part, seems further away
from Lenski than Marx, focusing not on technology
or revolution, but on ideas. The major transition that Weber talked about
was the shift from traditional to modern society, which he argued was really a matter of rationalization. Now, it’s not that Weber didn’t appreciate
the importance of technology. But he argued that the transition from
agrarian to industrial society, for instance,
began with a shift in ideas – like new techniques in accounting and
ways of approaching social organization. And it was these ideas, combined with advances
in technology, that produced the overall change. So in this view, both ideas and technology
were crucial for the emergence of modern capitalism. And Durkheim, finally, took a different tack
from either Marx or Weber. He approached the transitions that Lenski
talked about from the perspective of a society’s
underlying social structure. Specifically, Durkheim saw the history of
society as a long term change in solidarity,
a change in what held societies together. He argued that hunting and gathering
societies were held together by similarity,
what he called mechanical solidarity. Durkheim argued that everyone in these
societies had the same skills and lived in
basically the same way. But that changed as society developed and
specialization increased. With more specialization, people became more
differentiated, taking on different jobs, learning
different skills, and living in different ways. But, Durkheim argued, people also became more
tightly integrated, because they became more
interdependent. Factory workers needed farmers to make food so
that they could eat, and farmers needed factory
workers to make their tools and other goods. Durkheim called this interdependence organic
solidarity. And so Lenski’s sociocultural evolution
is, for Durkheim, the story of a long transition
from mechanical to organic solidarity. Ultimately, all of these ways of looking at society
and its changes, from the point of view of technology,
or conflict and revolution, or ideas, or underlying social structure, are important
for understanding what society is and how it works. Each one of these perspectives sees things
that the others miss, and each one is important
for the discipline of sociology. Today we learned about the society, what it
is and how it changes. We talked about Gerhard Lenski’s classification
of societies into five types, and the technological
changes that turn one into another. We returned to Marx and Weber, and talked
about how they understood societal change. And we also talked about Durkheim’s
understanding of society and how social
solidarity can be mechanical or organic. Crash Course Sociology is filmed in the Dr.
Cheryl C. Kinney Studio in Missoula, MT, and
it’s made with the help of all these nice people. Our Animation Team is Thought Cafe and Crash
Course is made with Adobe Creative Cloud. If you’d like to keep Crash Course free for everyone,
forever, you can support the series at Patreon, a crowdfunding platform that allows
you to support the content you love. Thank you to all of our patrons for making
Crash Course possible with their continued support

100 Comments

  1. undercoverduck Author

    crashcourse is honestly such a gift. it sparked my interest in topics i thought id never be interested in, mainly sociology. thank you so much for what you're all doing; it's great & i love it.

    Reply
  2. Jose Colon Author

    If you want to experience it, play Fallout 4. A great depiction of how humanity would return to the first days of the social contract.

    Reply
  3. Chinitos Perón Author

    Los yanquis siempre con su mirada materialista-empirista-evolucionista que tratan de meter como sea en el campo de las humanidades. Termina siendo una hipersimplificación y un reduccionismo. Además, se puede demostrar que empiricamente es incorrecto lo que se propone, pues hubo varios períodos en los que la innovación tecnológica se detuvo por siglos por motivos realmente sociales (culturales, religiosos, simbólicos), como el oscurantismo, por ejemplo. Sin teoría de la historia, sin Hegel, no hay forma de trabajar seriamente los temas sociales.

    Reply
  4. Ermude10 Author

    A lot of people in the comments argue from a black or white perspective (socialism / capitalism). If you can't see downsides or positives on either side, then I don't think you're not being honest. The most successful societies today have some kind of mix between the two (almost irregardless of how you choose to define "successful").

    Reply
  5. John Perkins Author

    hunter-gatherer societies generally have a work week of 20 hours or less. I feel that you have failed to represent this.

    Reply
  6. Morten W. Author

    A factually weak and (once again) highly politicised episode. Corrections: 1) Specialisation was present in hunter-gatherer societies, 2) as was hierarchical structures (inequality), 3) Inequality is not a function of "surplus" but of organisation, 4) HGs did not spend "all their time" finding food (but about 3 hours a day). And for god's sake, just one (1) episode without a prominent mention of Karl Marx would be so… refreshing. Sociology is politics, not science.

    Reply
  7. Less than 5% went to university from my school Author

    (Graffiti Tagging the comment section) If Everybody Looked The Same, We'd Get Tired of Looking at Each Other?…

    I agreed with everything in this video and had literally been thinking about this in terms of gender identity (with specialization). I had disagreements with the Gender Conflict video (just on a few things – like innate gender identity) but otherwise I am not adverse to social constructs etc (I certainly couldn't understand all the hate that video got). I even got into a long thread with someone and I provided evidence about equality among hunter gathering tribes before specialization start to increase with advancing technology.

    This was born out of a discussion on free speech (the video on youtube that sparked it concerned the dominance of the centre of politics and the neo-liberal establishment – it was flalse flagged and taken down). I have concerns with the left and the right and 'the centre'… where's the love? Anyway, I'm too alexithymic to really care but I thought why not just leave my dribble: –

    I think a really good discussion would be regarding the positives and negatives of specialisation in our modern technological society – I would include sociology and biology as technologies becuase they are tools for understanding and shaping our environment. I've thought about this in terms of the transgender issue before. I think it could be successfully argued that specialisation increases the risk of curruption (we're all sinners I guess).

    Also, I think it is helpful for someone studying sociology to have an awareness of biology… The same for anyone studying biology – they should have a social awareness.

    I have matured a lot – I would never have guessed why athiests would be ideologically anti-transgender when I started looking into this. Why sociologists and feminists and libertarians are anti-transgender too. I have actually developed more of a respect for just your bog standard transphobic person (compared to atheists) because at least their objections are genuine, if mis-guided by an obsession with sex.

    I'm not sure where Marxism stands on this to be honest. It seems clear to me though that at least Chomsky and his followers have a collateral advantage in supporting Transgender people as it is consistent with Chomsky's theories on innate grammar (and so gender identity by extension is also innate… rather than being exclusively a social construct…).

    Athiest anti-transgender comes from rationalism as far as I can make out – that it's irrational for someone to be alternative to a heterosexual "cisgendered" (identify with assigned sex at birth) male or female, presumeably because it makes no evolutionary sense (along those kinds of lines… basically LGBT is non-conformist etc… Sam Harris territory that anything different must be bad – otherwise why be different and 'inferior'?). Libertarians are "incompatibalists" regarding free will and determinism – which is just stupid. But free will is not necessarily the same as consciousness (for example Daniel Dennet – another one of the four horsemen – thinks consciousness is an illusion). Anyway, I'm sure you know all this.

    On Feminism and Transgender – it is really complex (almost paradoxical) but I have been able to resolve it… but in a really controversial way, but is representative of how we are as biological entities so it has the advantage of being natural: In my view, Gender being a social construct is not incompatible with Transgender people… My view involves understanding cis male and cis female brain anatomy and how they work differently in different contexts (Stress tolerance and aggressive behaviour – this is the controversial bit) and also the function of oxytocin (a social hormone – involved with social constructs) receptors in the brain and differences between cis males and cis females in this regard also (and relating to stress and aggression). Evidence for biological connections to behavioural differences tends to come form rat studies though (even in papers regarding human beings).. though autopsies on humans can reveal anatomical differences. There are also natural intances of brain damage caused by lesions in specific locations in human brains that reveal behavioural differences with regards to a person's gender perfomance (like aggressiveness or stress tolerance or mating behaviours etc). In transgender people the role of the brain in regards to these aspects is opposite to their sex assigned at birth – so the problem for feminism their is that a biological female (XX chromosomes) with a transgender brain will most likely have a better stress tolerance and be more aggressive than their cis female counterparts (this is still unproven theory btw)… and yet under feminism, this person with a female body (but male brain) should be allowed to dominate other women just like men can dominate women. If this all paints cis females as weak – males being more aggressive and having a better stress tolerance comes at the price of a being out-performed by females in a calm civilised setting when it comes to assimilating information [if that isn't feminsim though, then I don't know what is?].

    I still have some issues with being transgender though. I mean, I have researched it – it is a real thing, as real as homosexuality and has just as significant effect on someone I think… so being in the wrong gender is kind of like sleeping with a person of the wrong sex. But I don't think it is quite the same as homosexuality in one respect – fair enough, we have sensory maps of our bodies in our brains that seem to relate to our gender identity so there is nothing we can do about that, and also there really do seem to be parts of the brain that relate socially to our gender identity as well (in relation to being called a man or a woman) and also there is a different feeling and behaviour evident to a persons gender identity as well (like what kinds of things matter to them and behaviours they prefer to exhibit and even the pitch of their voice)… But, I do feel we need to evolve beyond the gender and sex distinctions we have at the moment – to raise our level of consciousness…

    In some sense I think transgender people need to adopt their preferred gender identity in order to move on with their lives and not be caught up in the unfulfilled base desires of sex and gender… y'know basically, deal with their private issues much like a homosexual person needs to.

    …But in another sense base desires are being constantly pushed down us by society with porn and advertising and gender role expectations that I don't think help us where we are at the moment and won't help us in moving forwards. I seriously question the purpose of gender and what is gender between strangers? I think gender was more important and more public when we lived in tribes in-which everyone knew each other, but now gender is much more private… I guess there is an issue there as to whether we should go back to living in tribes again as a way of fulfilling our human needs, or, adopt a more rational approach for living in large civilised societies? This goes back to my first comment in this thread about the positives and negatives of specialisation: –

    On the one hand you can't argue that being transgender is unnatural (having medical intervention to change a person's outwards appearance from female to male for example) because we are all unnatural in our modern technological society in the way we are living our lives (never mind that medical intervention is compassion anyway).

    But gender itself is specialising – evolutionary speaking, the more you specialise the greater the risk of going extinct – and I think we over specialise gender in our society with gender roles and appearance etc.. to our detriment.. (we should all be like John Carpenter's "The Thing" – I'm just kidding)… but then if everybody was the same that would be specialising as well.

    Reply
  8. ShamanCore23 Author

    The concept of inequality and technology working side by side is more than debatable.
    If Gork don't want to share its berries or decide to steal youre mushroom, you just don't eat that day.
    Slavery has been a thing in a good chunk of the world and where it has not, there were usally some caste system with an equivalant function. This idealisation of bygone eras don't really had anything to the discussion.
    And familly kept a major role threw history. In a way school did not took the education function to the familly, it just had a layer of education to the table.

    I don't know much about sociology but it seems to be quite politicised and as such flawd… making it less interstning and useful. I am also starting to be scared by the serie a litlle bit.

    I know that it's just one take on the subject and that crash course while a very good channel tend to be a bit partisan and very much americano-centrist with a very much american/anglo saxon view of things (making it sometime more interestning for a non american and sometime almost funny because of that). So no reason to give up on either sociology or this show, I don't know much about sociology (I'm here), so i don't wan't to assume too much about it. But keeping objectivity in the show would be nice, I don't wan't politics in my sciences please…

    Reply
  9. Lifeisawheelie Author

    India is not a society
    India is a subcontinent. A geogaphical unit. Not a society. Maybe a national state. But even that is a dubious claim, since not even the late englishimposed structure has anthibg resembling coordinaton or homogenity.

    Reply
  10. Lifeisawheelie Author

    You have a rather high dislike rate. I just added a dislike. And now i finally unsubscribe. Goodbye socialjusticewarrior losers. Your quality has been degradng ever since well before episodes you had to take down 🙂 byyyye. So happy to finally leave your workplace, as it has turned into. A money tree is what i see

    Reply
  11. Ath Athanasius Author

    "… because having a surplus allows a society to grow…" – This struck a chord due to my playing Stellaris a lot recently. Have a surplus of food and you get faster population growth 🙂 .

    Reply
  12. Cole Tanner Author

    Has sociology ever fixed,improved,solved, or done anything beneficial for soceity? I know we have history, so we don't repeat ourselves, but we are still having wars and famine and poverty, so why can't sociology morph into social engineering or something beneficial? I don't dislike this, I like it alot, but how can it benefit soceity?

    Reply
  13. africanwalkingtree Author

    There was a misleading, if not just false statement: US industrial output overall has not declined, but it has become more automated and a smaller fraction of the overall economy.

    The figure on page 4 of this Brookings Institute paper illustrates this perfectly:
    https://www.google.de/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiEnf-ek6vUAhVDY1AKHaClAV4QFggzMAI&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.brookings.edu%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2016%2F06%2Fus-manufacturing-past-and-potential-future-baily-bosworth.pdf&usg=AFQjCNFMVUY5jBTZaL-ee5t1NCDu74eYnQ&sig2=hHr20QhAAJNSG6uOb-ChDQ

    http://www.macrotrends.net/2583/industrial-production-historical-chart

    Reply
  14. Nobody From Nowhere Author

    So that's why you people so in love with socialism, so you rather chose stagnant society than unequal technologically advanced society.

    Reply
  15. Chadwick Lapis Author

    Dafuq is that in 7:06? do you really need that? what does two rising arrows have to do with showing the relationship between technology and inequality? That's not a graph or data that shows anything. Not that I'm saying that the advancing technology doesn't increase inequality. But seriously two rising arrows? Let me just make two rising arrows to compare two things to make it look scientific like increase of people wearing glasses and the sales of glasses. That sure blew me away. Man that really took me out of the video but please don't make animations for something really silly when stating something like that.

    Reply
  16. Joaquín Mazarino Rodriguez Author

    You sociologists! Pleeeeaase read an anthropology book. Stone Tool Economics would be a good place to start. Too many wrong concepts. Seriously that's a problem of the entire discipline.
    Example: people who share a territory but not culture are not a society?
    Hunter-gatherers fulfilled every need with less than 4 hours per day and they were an opulent society. You should seriously consider starting a Crash Course Anthropology

    Reply
  17. duduche730 Author

    Weber was soo right. Technological progress serve to nothing without a universal wage or something wich take the surplus of production thanks to technologies to distribute it to workers.

    Reply
  18. Comfy Wombat Author

    Just a reminder

    1. Sociology is not a science
    2. Marx was wrong about absolutely everything.
    3. Communism killed 200+ million people between 1900 and 2000

    Reply
  19. Yoseph Author

    how is 7:04 a valid comparison of technology vs inequality? I'm watching two arrows signify growth under ambiguous terminology.

    Reply
  20. 共想文化 Author

    if we dont have the GFW,https://youtu.be/BsRSL3duSko?t=80,would you say 1.4 billion Chinese live in china? um……
    probably,not,we use Chinese to communicate.
    kindda felling sad and lucky at the same time.

    Reply
  21. Divi Author

    I just caught up on sociology! Excellent series, maybe even my favourite Crash Course series to date! The presenter is great (sorry I dont even remember her name!) and the material is clear and concise without being patronising (at least from my perspective as someone who has never studied sociology before). Keep it up 😀

    Reply
  22. Isaac Newbauer Author

    12,000 years ago, BS, first of all, the planet is only 6,000 years old. and how would you have any eveidence that there wasn't a huge group gathered

    Reply
  23. Amy Naylor Author

    So the important question then, is whether or not it is possible to live in a postindustrial society and close the inequality gap while maintaining environmental health. If we manage that, we've cracked it. Right?

    Reply
  24. Professor Flick Mcslippers Author

    robots can stand in for the industrial societies. which could lead to an increase in equality related directly to advances of technology.

    Reply
  25. Michael Kieffer Author

    Why are you saying how great Karl Marx is. His philosophies lead to the death of over 94 million in the 20th century. How can you justify him. Maybe you are not trying to but it really seams like you are. Karl Marx is a monster of history that is forgotten about and actually glorified.

    Reply
  26. Ali Taimoor Author

    But explaining two types of societies, as Durkheim did, does not explain the very process of transition. Like the agents of change etc.

    Reply
  27. James Heller Author

    Just a note, during industrialization it was the children that were entitled to 12 hour work days. Teens and adults had 16 hour workdays.

    Reply
  28. vaultsjan Author

    Where s the source for claim that people in current day hunter gatheres spend most of time searching for food. ITs the opposite, isnt it?

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/200907/play-makes-us-human-v-why-hunter-gatherers-work-is-play

    Reply
  29. Benji T. Author

    One important thing is missing:
    Agriculture created food surplus, but also creates a permanent need for land as a resource. This is one of the major factors of war and conquest. And if there's conflict, you can't just abandon the land and move somewhere else, like nomadic people do. You likely stay there and fight because you invested a lot of resources into the land.

    Reply
  30. Paradigm Flux Emporium Author

    Wasn't the industrial revolution begun in Victorian England? So why say "And now we finally start approaching present day America, with the industrial societies"?

    Reply
  31. Zet Author

    Please Crash course; do a playlist with Archaeology / anthropology. I'm currently studying archaeology at university, that genre applies so many different sciences like Sociology, geography, geology, psychology (in some instances), biology, chemistry, historical analysis, ethnology; basically almost anything that can be applied in order to help analyze history and date sites, artifacts or events properly. It would be very useful and interesting to see and hear it from your perspective, since I really fancy your videos in general.

    Reply
  32. Susanne Krüger Author

    Richard Thurnwald wrote that the stratification of society came about when pastoral and horticultural groups met, the pastoral group subjugated the other group because they were already used to "rule over" animal herds. Anything to this?

    Reply
  33. Susanne Krüger Author

    Weren't people driven from their land during the enclosure movement in England in the 16th century? I don't think they wanted to go work in factories because centralized food management is more effective. It sure is more effective to make people dependent and subservient

    Reply
  34. James Carmody Author

    So, correct me if I'm wrong, but if I understand this correctly, in the post-industrial society information is just as, if not even more, valuable than labor?

    Reply
  35. nexus1g Author

    It seems you were just trying to conflate inequality with different roles, making it seem like some roles are better than others while ignoring the relative work done and risks taken by individuals in those various roles. It seems to be begging the question regarding the actual numbers and details of those relationships. This leaves an Us vs. Them mentality which these quick generalizations seem to promote by not expanding understanding of what's done by the various roles. This leaves the listener no better off in knowledge, and without critical thinking skills, which many undergrad and even some graduate degrees lack a requirement in, very easily leads the listener to accept the assumption on which the conclusion is based.

    Reply
  36. Elizabeth Spawn Author

    I am only here for the CLEP exam. I finished the modern stares course. It is not worth buying the review book for sociology.

    Reply
  37. Peter Miller Author

    3:42 "we also get real social inequality for the first time" … hmm that really depends on what metric you measure inequality by. nomadic tribes are not all democratic – some have chiefs. so there is inequality of power even there. and when it comes to inequality of wealth you have to specify whether you mean inequality in an absolute sense ($), or a relative sense (%).

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  38. Baroquendmz Author

    One note here: Lenski posits technology as the prime-mover for societal change. Bottle necks contradict this: many advances don't change the fundamental structures. You may choose an alternative theory: that inequalities themselves lead to technology change – the crises of capitalism, where variable costs can no longer maximize costs, will inevitably lead to competing business to invest in new fixed costs, R&D, as a means of staying ahead. Therefore, think of whether societies are born of technological change (those who emphasize modernity – and the cultural stasis of "modern socieities"), or the more historically specific measure of dialecticism born of worker-employer relations

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  39. Baroquendmz Author

    Another note: Marx didn't simply think that class struggle led to change. He also considered the contradictions in the relations between capitalists themselves (see my note on crises below). Both were of equal importance to Marx. Consider dialecticism as a motor of change. Also, note that Marx isn't set against the idea of Ideas – rather, he is a materialist, so ideas are accrued through material circumstance (see Grundesse)

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  40. Ercan Er Author

    Well the hunter gatherers were also able to make surplus but hat was totally coincidential so they were (are) incapable about handling it, because they did not know how to process and keep resources, so most of the time they were destroying it. At some point some of them start to keep those instead of destroying them, and saw their natural process of rotting, then try to prevent this process.

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  41. Christopher Sudlik Author

    If Crash course isn't aware of the low weekly working hours of hunters and gathers, and the pairing of inequality and poverty with progress and growth, I'd highly recommend looking into the works of Henry George and Sebastian Junger

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  42. The Lord's Powerhouse: Martecia Cooper Author

    Brandon B. Sociology is useful in all areas of life. I love it. I teach it, have been teaching it at a junior college since 2006. I fell in love with Sociology in 2002.

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  43. Janos Abel Author

    Why do presenters insist so much on intruding on their subject!? I can not just cursor down to blot her out because i have to see the exhibits.

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